REPORT: Armed Group Storm Wedding In Mali, Kill At Least 21 People

Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
Font Size:

An armed gang attacked a wedding ceremony in central Mali and slaughtered at least 21 people Monday evening, local residents told The Associated Press (AP).

The gang rode into the town where the wedding was held on motorcycles and quickly surrounded the attendees, the outlet reported.

A Malian soldier patrols in the streets of Kidal, May 26, 2006. Mali’s regular army was firmly in control of the northeastern town of Kidal May 25 following an uprising earlier in the week by Tuareg dissidents who took over two military camps in the desert region. The so-called “blue people,” named for their protective clothes against the fierce sun and harsh desert conditions, traditionally have scant regard for state borders and wanted social and economic benefits in exchange for becoming more settled. (Photo by KAMBOU SIA/AFP via Getty Images)

“Most of the victims had their throats slit,” Bakary Guindo, a local youth leader, told the AP. The attack has similarities to JNIM, an al Qaeda-linked group that often carries out attacks in the region, the outlet reported. No group has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the nefarious deed as of Wednesday morning. (RELATED: Pentagon Quietly Scraps Plans To Train With Militaries From Countries Accused Of Coups, Major Rights Abuses)

JNIM, which stands for Jama’at Nusrat Al-Islam Wa Al-Muslimeen, was formed in 2017, according to the European Council on Foreign Affairs. The group aims to drive international forces (like the United Nations and the French) out of the country and establish an Islamic state, the outlet noted.

Communities in northern and central Mali have suffered extremist violence since 2012, the outlet reported. Extremist rebels were forced from power in the cities of northern Mali in 2013 with the aid of French troops but these groups have since regrouped and launched new attacks, AP reported.

Mali is among the poorest states in the world, according to a 2024 report by BTI. The country ranks “at the bottom of the World Development Index.” A military junta seized power in the country in 2020 and re-seized power in the country in 2021 after a brief transitional government, according to BTI. This is the fourth junta in the country’s history, according to BTI.